LAVENDER. This is the most popular essential oil for sleep and relaxation among my patients, and my first, general go-to recommendation for people looking to try aromatherapy for sleep. Lavender is a soothing scent that’s long been associated with relaxation and sleep, and used as a natural remedy for anxiety. Lavender is probably the most rigorously studied essential oil. A robust body of research shows lavender has anxiety reducing—or anxiolytic—effects, as well as beneficial effects on depression. Lavender can also help with pain relief, several studies show. One recent study showed aromatherapy using lavender oil reduced the need for pain medications in a group of 6 to 12-year-old children recovering from having their tonsils removed. Lavender also has sedative effects, meaning it can work directly to help you fall asleep. A number of studies point to lavender’s effectiveness for sleep: improving sleep quality, increasing sleep amounts, and elevating daytime alertness, including in people with insomnia.
Real sandalwood is hard to come by these days, because the Indian government’s export limitations, but if you can get your hands on it, and suffer from insomnia-snatch it up! This delightful aroma really helps reduce anxiety and stress all while promoting relaxation. It has been used for over 4 millennia all over the world for its comforting, therapeutic properties and wonderful smell.
I’ve learned a very important lesson recently. A friend who sells young living told me that I could put a few drops of lemon oil in my water, as well as orange and grapefruit. Dummy me didn’t research this. You know, “well she’s a friend and seems to know a lot about oils. I can trust what she says”. One night I couldn’t sleep well, even had my lavender in my diffuser. I kept wondering “what the hheeeecckkk”. Prayed a bit, and then listened and read up on grapefruit oil. Wellllll that was my first lesson DO NOT TAKE OILS INTERNALLY and grapefruit oil is an energizer.
When it comes to blending essential oils for aromatic purposes (that means you’re blending based on scent rather than a therapeutic action), it’s important to make sure you find essential oil combinations that go together or attract so they smell nice once they’re blended together. I personally find this to be important when blending essential oils for therapeutic purposes as well, but that’s just a personal preference.
I recently took a class at my university on the use of essential oils and my professor mentioned that in rare cases peppermint can be extremely dangerous in children under 6. I believe Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Minnesota uses spearmint rather than peppermint as it produces similar effects. Please follow the link bleow for more information about this under the Special Considerations section. If you also find this information concerning I would suggest removing peppermint from your children’s top ten list.
Yes, both are great for attention, but I’ll caution you about using rosemary on a child under 10 as that’s supposedly the minimum age to use it safely unless it’s really, really diluted. You can find more info about essential oil safety here. As for drop amounts, if it were me, lemon would be used most with a bit of rosemary. I’d do a 3% dilution so maybe 2 drops of lemon and 1 of rosemary for every 1 teaspoon of carrier oil you use… yes, it does need to be diluted in a carrier oil. ALL oils using on children, and most adults, should be diluted. It’s just too risky to not, and that helps spread them over the body more and have more surface are to absorb better. Hope that helps and gives you a start. If it doesn’t work as well as you’d like you can always adjust the oils or the dilution, but remember to keep it at a safe level.
This is the point where the actual essential oils are needed, and as I’m sure you’re well aware, essential oils vary in price depending on the company you purchase your oils from. Some people prefer big MLM companies with higher priced oils, others prefer family-owned suppliers with mid-range prices, and some prefer well-known small businesses with lower priced essential oils. I say, to each his own. Just do your research and know how to choose high-quality essential oils before you purchase any.
I have done extensive research on essential oils. NO oil should ever be injested. There are only a few food grade oils that can be injested. There is no such thing a therapeutic grade oil. Do more research. Many companies claim 100% pure and that may be, it’s the process that makes them unpure. If you want the real thing you must only buy USDA ORGANIC. The process is guaranteed minimal. No machinery so you not getting metals in your oil which is harmful to us. I hope this helps.
Jill, thank you for your blog post. I have never used essential oils. Thanks for the information on the different oils and the combinations. I have heard of essential oils, just was never sure which oils go together. I want to try them. I have 10 med size plastic containers full of candles of every shape and color for each season and plus some. In the closet and under the bed. I hardly use them much anymore, since they just don’t seem to hold the smell when they are burning. They just sit in the plastic boxes taking up space.
For depression: Depression and sleep problems often go hand in hand. A number of studies have examined the effects of aromatherapy using essential oils in people with depression and depressive symptoms, both with and without anxiety. Aromatherapy can help improve depressive symptoms, according to the results of several studies. A study found aromatherapy improved both depression and anxiety in a group of post-partum women. And a 2016 analysis found aromatherapy effective in reducing stress and depression—as well as symptoms of menopause—in middle-aged women.
It’s key to purchase oils that are advertised as “pure” or “100%” essential oils and list the oil’s botanical Latin name. Ones that say “perfume oil” or “fragrance oil” often use synthetic ingredients, so while they smell nice, they don’t provide the same benefits and may even contain other additives more likely to irritate your skin. If possible, look for organic oils with a non-GMO or “Therapeutic grade” label, meaning they don’t have toxins and only use pure chemicals.
Since I have asthma, dust mites are a problem. I use a mattress pad that can be easily removed and washed. Make sure all bedding is machine washable in hot water, as this kills the mites. I put my down comforter in a washable duvet, so it can be washed weekly with the other bedding. I’m sure a spray of tea tree oil on the bedding couldn’t hurt. I put eucalyptus in my eo diffuser in my bedroom. I keep dust attracting items in closets or drawers, exchanged my dry-clean only bedroom curtains for washable ones and got rid of the hard to clean blinds. For kids, no stuffed animals in the bedroom unless they are machine washable.
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